Sometimes in life there are opportunities to make things a whole lot easier on yourself (and others). Placing an order with us is no exception to that rule.
When you are ready, there are few simple steps you can take to guarantee a smooth and pain-free order process. Your Customer Service Rep may also want to hug you.
1. Details, Details, Details.
The more details you provide when you submit your quote request, the faster you’ll get your prints! Give us any and all details you have. There’s rarely such a thing as too much information in this case. The more we have the easier it is for our Customer Service Reps to quickly and accurately build your estimate with minimal back and forth and revisions.
What kind of details are we talking about?
Print location – Where do you want your design printed (Front, Back, Sleeve, etc)? Will you have more than one print location on the same shirt?
Pantone colors – If you have any specific colors that you would like to print, you will need to provide us with a color from the Pantone Coated Swatch Book. If you don’t have a book, we will do our best to match the color we see on our screen to the one in your artwork, but be aware that oftentimes colors can appear differently from monitor to monitor.
Any special printing details – Does your print need to be a specific size? Does it need to be off-center? Remember, be specific if you need to!
Ink type – This will largely depend on the garment type you are using, however, let us know if you have a preference and we can tell you if it will work. You can learn more about your options here. You can also check out more about our ink printing styles inthis blog post.
2. Give Us the Breakdown.
We also need to know all the details about the garments you would like to print on. Which garments? Which garment colors? What is the size breakdown? The more details, the merrier. Not sure which garments to print on? Don’t worry, just ask! One of our CSR’s can help you determine which garment(s) will be best for your particular project. You can also browse our garments here.
When you’re figuring your number of garments, make sure you keep our minimums in mind! For example, all 1-2 color prints require a minimum of 24 pieces. You can get all the details about our minimums here.
3. Not Just Any File Type…
To create a mock that will result in the best end result for your print job, our Art & Mocks team will need a high resolution vector file. Not sure if your file is what we need? Check out our File Prep page or this blog post for more details about what we’re looking for.
Before submitting your artwork, make sure your file is:
300 dpi (dots per inch)
The desired size you want it printed
NOT: a photo, sketch, Paint or Word file, etc.
It’s as simple as that! Once you’ve submitted your Quote Request Form, one of our lovely Customer Sales Reps will build your estimate and before you know it your order and mocks will be approved, we’ll work our printing magic and your order will be on it’s way to your door.
Creativity a little low this morning? Check out these projects from some designers we discovered this week. Grab that cup of joe and check out today’s design inspiration.
We love this project because it features the creative process and the variety designers can create for one simple idea. This designer also includes a number of great little touches that make the logo design options all something different and unique. Notice her touches like the descender on the X in the top left design and connected t and F in the top right that create cohesive looks.
This project looked great from early on in the process and we love the final design that this designer created for a yoga label. The bold and curvy lettering is just our style. It’s perfect for a hip screen printed t-shirt.
This design made the cut for two reasons: first, pizza. The Threadbird team can’t resist it. In any form. But more importantly, we love how this fingerprint-esque design breaks down a common image in a whole new way. The digital strokes and colors result in a design that sparks both creativity and hunger. This one inspires us to see things a little differently today.
Part of what makes our job so awesome are the people, businesses and organizations we get to work with. The stories we learn about from day to day are intriguing and always keep us motivated. One organization that has inspired us lately is Unlock Hope. They provide healthcare, better food options and a safe place to live for a group of girls in a hostel in Hoima, Uganda, which enables them to educate the girls. They believe this is the first step in ending a difficult cycle of poverty in Africa.
We recently got to ask Dallas Harris, founder of the organization, some questions while he and part of the Unlock Hope team are on the road selling merch and introducing people to Unlock Hope at music festivals.
How did Unlock Hope come to be?
“Unlock Hope has been around for about 2 years in it’s current form. I have started a couple of other companies with similar missions over the past 8 years until I found a story and product that really connected with people. It all started when I watched the original Invisible Children documentary. I immediately started researching ways to help the people of Uganda and started a company called Feed Just One based on the Mother Teresa quote that says ‘If you can’t feed a hundred people then feed just one.’ We donated a ton of meals through shirt sales but wanted to do even more. After learning more and better understanding the needs of Ugandans I discovered that education – especially for young girls – is the most important thing to them. It gives them hope and a future.”
“The keys have a double meaning. They are in the shape of Africa and symbolize unlocking hope for the girls at the hostel that we support. Also, many kids in Uganda have a little locked box where they store their belongings so they wear keys on strings around their neck and I wanted to create something that people here could wear in solidarity and remind them of the difference they are making in their lives.”
How did you end up partnering with Think Humanity?
“I did lots of research into tons of organizations that work in Uganda both large and small and found that many organizations simply don’t use their donations wisely. It’s pretty unbelieveable how efficient Think Humanity is. They are able to use 99% of all donations for program expenses by utilizing a volunteer staff.”
What is the biggest challenge of your job?
“The biggest challenge is being a small but growing company and trying to manage all aspects of the business. There are so many different tasks that come up that you would never think of and kind of just have to learn as you go. I don’t have any employees aside from people helping out for the summer tour so I do a little bit of everything. I recently started having Threadbird handle the online orders and fulfillment so I’m very thankful for that!”
You’re on the road this summer. What does that tour look like for Unlock Hope?
“It’s very challenging and rewarding! Up until this point all of the sales have been online so it’s been great to get to meet and connect with the customers in person. We are doing 12 music festivals this summer and hope to add more events in the fall. The hours are very long and there’s four of us crammed in a passenger van along with all of the merch and displays but we are having a great time!”
What is your favorite story or experience since starting this adventure with Unlock Hope?
“I love getting notes and cards from the girls at the hostel in Uganda! It’s always great to hear about their lives and learn more about their experience. I also love sharing the story with people and letting them know how easy it is to make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
What would you tell people who are passionate about a cause and want to take a step towards making a difference?
“Just go for it and learn as you go! I started by ordering 36 shirts and selling them on MySpace out of my one bedroom apartment and now it’s grown so much. Pick a cause that you are truly passionate about and it will make the difficult times and hard work so much easier.”
What’s the best way for people to help Unlock Hope?
“Aside from ordering the products and supporting the cause financially it is a huge help when people share it with others!”
We want to give a huge thank you to Dallas for chatting with us. We love learning more about what drives our customers and Unlock Hope is definitely doing big things. Find out more about what they’re up to on their site and Instagram. And be sure to check out their available merch on the online store.
Mornings can be tough. We get it. Some days coffee just isn’t enough to get the creativity flowing, so we’ve decided to help you out!
We’re kicking off this series of super cool designs to get the creative juices flowing with designs from some of our very own Art & Mocks team! So grab that cup of joe and check out today’s inspiration.
“I’ve always been impressed by the illustrations of Ed Roth, so I wanted to do something in the same vein and a little out of my style for a friend of mine. I always start with pen and paper and bring it to digital for the coloring.”
“The process behind my skull art was fairly simple. I was in the mood to do something different and found some inspirational pieces online. I mimicked a few different styles and meshed it with my own. I’m a fan of brighter colors, so I thought it would be interesting to mix that into a seemingly dark and grungy illustration.”
Don’t worry, you’re not the first person to ask. This is an incredibly common question in the screen printing world. At Threadbird, the short answer is “no”. We have a minimum of 24 pieces on every order of up to 2 colors.
“But why? I don’t need 24 shirts.”
Great question. It all comes down to time. Screen Printing is a mechanical process that involves machines, manual labor and time. It takes the same amount of time to setup a job with 1 shirt as it does a job with 100 shirts. When the costs involved are averaged over 100 shirts, the order is affordable for the customer. But, when the same costs are averaged over 1 or 2 shirts, the order is no longer affordable.
At Threadbird, our minimum is 24 pieces per design because that is the lowest point at which your order is still economically feasible.
“Makes sense. But I’ve seen places that will print just 1 shirt.”
Indeed you have. There are many places out there where you can have just 1 shirt printed. These places use a completely different printing process called Direct-to-Garment (DTG). DTG printing is digital printing. It’s like running your t-shirt through a color printer, rather than dyeing and painting each t-shirt.
“Why doesn’t Threadbird print Direct-to-Garment?”
Another great question. Quality has always been one of our highest priorities at Threadbird. And while DTG printing can meet peoples needs, it does not hold the same quality as traditional screen printing. Colors are not as vibrant and printing typically needs to be done on light colored garments.
“Are there any other factors that affect the minimum order amount?”
Yes, as we mentioned above, 24 pieces is the minimum for all orders of up to 2 ink colors. The following minimums are based on the # of ink colors in your design:
3 Ink Colors – Requires a 36 piece minimum
4-6 Ink Colors – Requires a 50 piece minimum
7-10 Ink Colors – Requires a 100 piece minimum
And lastly, there are a few other situations where minimums are a little bit higher.
Tag Printing – Requires a 50 piece minimum
Sewing Hem Tags – Requires a 50 piece minimum
“Makes sense. I’m ready to place an order! Now what?”
If you have your order and design ready for us, you can start here. Our team of all-stars will help you figure out pricing and answer any other questions you may have along the way. You can also always shoot your questions to email@example.com.